Fish head stew


You do what you have to do to survive. You sleep where you can find safe shelter, and you eat what you can find to eat. You can’t be picky, you don’t have that luxury.

That may mean making a stew from scavenged fish heads off the beach. Boiled in sea water with a few soft potatoes and yellowing onions you found dumpster diving, it’s not so bad. If you’re lucky you can find some carrots or day-old bread too. I wasn’t lucky this time. A stick for roasting is all I could forage.

The beach is barren. There’s no one to thank for my bounty. There should be people here. At the height of tourist season, there should be families, and little kids digging in wet sand and building castles. There should be wave boarding teenagers and drunken college co-eds.

It’s too quiet, too eerily quiet. There aren’t even any of those rat-bastard seagulls trying to steal my dinner.

Down the shore I see some driftwood, the ocean giving up its dead. With the few matches I have left, I can build a fire. The light might draw them in, but they fear the flames.

On the open shore, I can see them coming. If I can stay awake, I should be all right. Tomorrow I can…

“Put that stick down and stop playing with that rotten fish, boy. It’s nasty.” Oma shuffles through the sand as quickly as she can, dragging the wheeled cooler and trying to keep her beach chair slung over her shoulder. “There’s bugs and germs all over it.”

She never does understand about preparing for the zombie invasion. I don’t think I’ll share my fish stew with her.

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Kurt gave me this prompt: Write something weird. Bizarre. Surreal. Whatever that means to you.

(I’m not much of a vampire/zombie fan, so writing this was a smidge weird for me. *see prompt* When I received my cue for this week, I knew I wanted to link with this photo of a weathered fish head I took over the weekend. It just seemed… fitting, and weird.)

I gave kgwaite this prompt: Tell about a favorite gift you received or one you gave.

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